Rice's red-hot girls basketball team didn't take the week off for the holidays or even slow down this week.

Coach Ki'Undrea Smith's team played two games to start the week before taking a break. The Lady Bulldogs hammered Avalon 62-13 on Monday and defeated Kerens, the top girls basketball program in the Golden Circle, 48-37 on Tuesday.

Rice is now 7-0 and off to one of the best starts in the school's history.

Freshman sensation Saniya Burks has led Rice all year along with Aaliya Nezar, Lexi Davis, Jonisa Espinosa, Alyssa Claxton, Hannah Harwell, and Genesis Mendez.

Burks has been on a tear, but Rice is 7-0 because the collective effort of everyone. The Lady Bulldogs have played a non-stop pressure defense every night and forced turnovers like crazy to set up drive after drive this season.

They scored 159 points in two games last week, running by Hillsboro 80-41 and coming right back to beat Italy 79-31.

"It's a great start," Smith said, "the best we've had in the past three years I've been here. We had great expectations coming into the season, and I'm proud of the way my girls have responded. However, we still have a lot of work to do to prepare for our tough district."

Nezar led the way against Avalon, scoring 24 points and pulling down five rebounds. Burks had a triple-double with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals.

Davis scored six points and handed out four assists. Espinosa had nine rebounds, four points and three steals against Avalon, and Mendez (five points and two rebounds) and Harwell (three points and three rebounds) both had big moments in the win on Monday.

The Lady Bulldogs picked up their most impressive victory of the season (so far) on Tuesday against Kerens.

Burks led the way with 27 points, four rebounds and three steals, and Nezar had a strong game, scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds.

Espinosa came up big on the boards with eight rebounds to go along with two points and Harwell had four rebounds and two points.

Mendez had a big game, scoring six points and pulling down two rebounds, Claxton had five points and two rebounds. Davis scored four points and had an assist and a rebound.

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